In September, I informed the House that the Government had decided that the current Session of Parliament should run until the spring of 2012. This was in order to ensure a smooth transition towards five, 12-month Sessions over a Parliament, which would be a beneficial consequence of Parliament agreeing the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill.
I have tabled a motion, which appears on the Order Paper today, which has the effect of providing extra days for the consideration of Private Members’ Bills in this Session. The extra dates to be provided are 9 September 2011, 21 October 2011, 25 November 2011 and 20 January 2012. Bills will have precedence on those days in accordance with the established order set out in paragraph (5) of Standing Order No.14.
The Government are also mindful that, due to the longer than usual current Session, extra provision will be necessary for Opposition days and Backbench Business days. No changes to Standing Orders are necessary to accommodate adequate extra provision in these two instances, and I will announce the provision of extra time through the weekly business statement as usual.